Trevor Knight is a talented soulful pop singer and songwriter resided in New York City. His music is inspired by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Sam Cooke and Zac Brown. Trevor’s interest in music sparked during his final year at Dartmouth College where his acapella group competed as finalists in ‘Dartmouth Idol’. His debut single “Giving It Up” got over 300,000 streams on Spotify. He now releases a new single every 1st of every month with his latest single being “22 minutes”.
When did you decide to pursue a musical career considering you studied something in a completely different field in college?
The idea of a music career first dawned on me during my senior year of college, when I performed in my school’s version of American Idol. But at that point, I had already accepted a job in finance for after graduation. Shortly after I started working though, I knew I couldn’t put music on the back burner for long. I quickly started making cover videos, networking in the NYC music scene, and writing songs. Over the last year or so of my finance career, I was paving the way for a transition into music. It’s funny the way life works out.
How has your everyday life changed since becoming a musical artist?
It’s changed immensely. My schedule is much more flexible, and everything is project-based. This gives me a lot more freedom than the transactional-type job I used to work, but it also requires more accountability. The weekend doesn’t entail as much off-time as a typical 9-5 lifestyle, and a lot of my time is used taking care of administrative things that relate to my music business. There is definitely less creative time in my schedule than I would have anticipated, but I make it work. I also have a pretty spontaneous schedule – at a moment’s notice I could be traveling across the country, and I actually really like that.
You released a new single on the 1st day of every month, does this strategy ever get to taxing?
Yes, absolutely. Sticking to that plan has entailed developing a lot of habits and workflows to make sure I’m consistently writing new songs, and that I’m in the studio every month to record them. It takes a lot of organization and effort, but it’s been worth it.
What activities do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love staying physically active – going to the gym, riding bikes, playing catch, going for walks, etc. I’ve been an athlete my whole life, so sports are in my blood at this point. I love watching the pros too – the NFL and MLB in particular. Besides that, I like cooking with my girlfriend and serving at my church.
When did your love for music develop?
I’ve been in love with music since I was a little kid. I got involved with piano lessons and choir in elementary school, and I was one of those kids who would sing throughout the house at all hours of the day. My parents used to play cassette tapes and NOW CD’s in their cars all the time, so I was ingesting all kinds of music basically from birth. That certainly had an impact on me.
What is your dream collaboration?
Ed Sheeran and Zac Brown are two of my favorite artists – being able to collaborate with them would be a dream come true. Other dream collaborations include Justin Bieber, Hailee Steinfeld, Sam Smith, Adele, and Thomas Rhett.
Where do you get inspiration from for the songs you write?
Honestly, it’s hard to pin down. Some are borne from real life experiences, others come about because a certain turn of phrase is rattling around in my head. And a lot of songs come with a chord progression first, then I fit syllables around a melody line. It totally depends on where I am, what headspace I’m in, and what I’m experiencing at the time.
You used to perform at open mic nights in your spare time, do you still engage in that?
I haven’t played an open mic in a long time. They used to be part of my weekly routine, and I really miss them. I met a lot of cool musicians through NYC’s open mic scene, and some I’m sure I’ll stay in touch with forever.
There was a time where you would perform your songs around the city, could you describe what that experience was like?
I loved it. I used to go out and play 2 or 3 nights a week, sometimes more than once a night. Playing your songs for a live audience is like nothing else. The adrenaline is thrilling, and the indie music scene in NYC has been so warm and supportive. I definitely miss the late night open mics and the slice of Prince St. pizza afterwards. Good times. My larger, formally booked shows are also some of my fondest memories of my time in the city. Being on stage in front of dozens of your friends and fans, and having your name on the bill is just exhilarating.
How did it feel to have your first single, ”Giving It Up”, reach over 75,000 streams on Spotify?
It’s honestly amazing. At the end of 2019 the song was added to Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist, and it really took off. I remember when it had 1,000 streams, and I was so excited. It’s funny how your barometer for success changes with time. I’m so thankful for the progress I’ve made.
What is your ultimate goal for your work and your career?
My ultimate goal is to make a sustainable, enjoyable living doing what I love, and to bring joy and encouragement to millions of people. Sounds easy, right? Taking it one step at a time.